Péter Márki-Zay, the prime ministerial candidate of the united opposition, has announced he would return his mandate won on the joint list of the opposition in Sunday’s general election and not sit in Hungary’s next parliament.
Márki-Zay said in a Facebook post late on Wednesday that he decided to stay on as mayor of Hódmezővásárhely, in southern Hungary, “because I decided I have an obligation to protect the children of Hódmezővásárhely from Fidesz enlisting them to be cannon-fodder in Ukraine, my own four sons… among them.”
Márki-Zay said the election was not legitimate, “and wouldn’t have been even if we had won, as I said many times before the election – and not necessarily because of election fraud, the home-delivered mail-in votes, legalised voter tourism or the rural voters who were bought off or threatened with losing their jobs.”
The “one-sided, mendacious propaganda machine” has mislead voters, he said. “They were vulnerable to Fidesz’s lies and honestly believed that Orbán, enamoured as he is of conscription, eager to send soldiers even to hospitals, is the one and only guarantee for peace — and that the opposition would sent young people to Ukraine to die, to a country not even NATO troops enter…,” he said.
“In this situation, I want to avoid contributing to the illusion that Hungary is a parliamentary democracy where the opposition has even the remotest chance of achieving anything in parliament,” he said. His most important task, Márki-Zay said, is to “strengthen trust in my beloved city”, protect the leadership from corruption and political influence and to fulfill the remainder of his promises, he said.
At the same time, “I will not abandon the 106 heroes who ran in the parliamentary election, the candidates who ran in the primary, the 27,000 vote counters, hundreds of thousands of young voters, the million-strong Roma community and two million opposition sympathisers.”
“It has become clear that Fidesz cannot be unseated in elections,” Márki-Zay said. “I continue to feel responsible to keep this community together and to fight against corruption and authoritarianism in patriotic resistance.”